Why do women with heart disease have worse prognoses than men?
Dr. Wood: Women tend to present later with heart disease than men, so by the time they’re diagnosed, they have other comorbid diseases such as diabetes, peripheral vascular disease or stroke. So typically, they’re just sicker people who have heart disease on top of all of that. The majority of women with heart disease are postmenopausal [and over 70], but younger women have heart disease, too. Dr. Val: How are the symptoms of heart disease different in women and men? Dr. Wood: Women are more likely to experience heart disease differently than men. Whereas men may experience chest pain when their heart isn’t getting enough oxygen, women can sometimes feel the pain in their jaw or their neck. I’ve had women referred to me by their dentists because when they were evaluated for tooth pain, there was nothing wrong with their teeth. One of the most common symptoms of heart disease in women is fatigue or lack of energy. People don’t necessarily get the connection between fatigue and possible